The Five Moves you need to get a Six Pack
Six packs are like kittens. You talk for ages and ages about wanting one, you get impatient when you can’t get one, and when you finally do get one, you spend every waking hour posting pictures of it on Instagram.
I promise that getting a six pack is achievable. Yes, if you eat cake every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner, it’s probably not achievable, but with a decent diet 80% of the time and the right exercises you can get those abdominal muscles on show easy peasy.
Here are the five moves to practice for a seriously strong core.
1. The Hollow Body Hold
Known in the abdominal world as ‘The King of the Six Pack’, the hollow body hold is the downright best core strengthening exercise there is.
Lie on the floor with your head, shoulders and legs in the air and your lower back ON THE FLOOR. The aim is to get your legs a just a few inches off the floor with your lower back firmly glued to the floor. If you're doing it right you'll probably start shaking and be in huge amounts of pain. Perfect.
DO NOT hold your head or your neck with your hands.
DO not put your hands underneath your back.
Keep your arms in the air, or hold a weight in your hands above your chest as seen in the image. If your neck hurts it's totally normal. It will hurt, and then after a while, it will hurt a bit less.
Start doing this for 10 seconds a day, or until your lower back starts to lift off the floor, and then up your time each day by a couple of seconds.
Grab a dumbell or a plate (the heavier it is the more your abs will have to work) and and raise your arms and legs up in the air (with your lower back firmly on the floor). Slowly drop your arms behind your head and your legs straight down (but don't let them touch the floor) then raise 'em back up, making sure to keep your lower spine on the floor the whole time. If your back starts to lift, don't go as far down with your arms and legs. Try building up to 20 reps of this.
3. Dog Doing A Wee/Oblique Mountain Climbers
Get into a plank position with your hands directly underneath your shoulders. This instantly activates your core. Having your hands in front of your shoulders isn't nearly as effective.
Take your right knee outside your body to meet your elbow, then return to starting plank position. Repeat with left leg. Do 20 reps on each side. Try not to let your foot touch the floor, which will keep your core constantly engaged. Imagine that you are a dog doing a wee. That will help.
4. Backwards Plank
Forget about normal plank or side plank. There's a new kid in AbVille. The backwards plank. Just as painful as it looks and sounds.
Keeping your heels on the floor raise your glutes, legs and upper body off the floor supporting yourself on your elbows and forearms. If you want to make it harder (yes please, Melissa) slowly raise one leg and hold it in the air, then repeat with the other leg. Evil.
5. Boat Pose/V Sit
Sit atop your bottom and very slightly lean back. Raise your legs as high as you can in the air and keep your arms out to the side, or resting lightly on your temples, like delicate butterflies.
From here you can raise your legs up and down or bring your knees into your chest and extend them out again.
This is tough and will take lots or practice, but persevere my friends in the name of that sweet sweet six pack.